I have given up on the word, crazy. When I first became an advocate that was one of the words I wanted to hear less, but it is used so frequently and in so many ways that I don’t have a word to replace it.
I can’t think of a word to use in as many ways as crazy.
Last night, my husband and I were having dinner with some of his family, and almost all of us said the word, crazy, in a span of five minutes, even me.
My mother-in-law said, “We watch a show in France about crazy Americans.”
After listening to the details of the show, I said, “I think she means eccentric Americans.”
While we were still talking about the television show, my niece said, “That’s crazy!” into the screen of her phone.
Someone said the food was “crazy” good.
We couldn’t understand the accent of our very kind server, and I said, “This is crazy.”
I don’t know how many times we used the word crazy last night, but it was very popular at our meal. I know that all it would take is some thought, and a more creative and robust vocabulary to replace crazy in all of those sentences. But as people, most of us are lazy. We want to speak as we have always spoken, and we like to use words that are in fashion. We also want what is easy and what is comfortable.
I’m going to try to expand my vocabulary so that crazy is not a part of my speech, but I don’t expect everyone to do the same thing. Crazy has become an overused, lazy word for so many situations that it is going to be a while before it falls out of favor.
I can’t use my energy and wear out my welcome with people by pointing out that crazy is offensive every time I hear it. Besides, when people use it, it seems to mean everything from extraordinary to bizarre. There is no one way to define crazy; there are thousands.
Crazy is currently a catch-all slang word. It will eventually fall out of fashion, but until then I am going to fight battles that are easier and more important to win.
I’m going to make an effort to use my dictionary more and get rid of this word from my speech, but honestly, for right now, the whole thing makes me crazy.